Is the Biden administration backing off on Ukraine? Has there been an outbreak of sanity? From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:
No one knows whether the recent talks between the US and Russia will produce results. But they happened. And they have led to the promise of further talks. What, after a quarter century of Russian cries, brought Biden to the table?
The US long ago left its place at the table. Diplomacy has yielded its seat to military pressure and economic sanctions. America now always insists on the need to use force: Putin only understands force; Iran only responds to sanctions. Antony Blinken himself, America’s top diplomat, has said that “force can be a necessary adjunct to effective diplomacy.” “We must supplement diplomacy with deterrence,” he added. “Words alone will not dissuade the Vladimir Putins and Xi Jinpings of this world.”
He’s wrong, though. Diplomacy has consistently worked with China; it accomplished the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran when sanctions, sabotage and threats failed; it has worked in the many arms controls agreements with Russia, and it has worked, when honored, with North Korea.
The US thinks the world only respects force and not reason because the US only respects force and not reason. They assume of others what they discover in themselves. The US long ago exchanged diplomats for torturers and arm twisters, whether it is the torture of military threats or the arm twisting of economic strangulation.
If diplomacy has failed the US, it has failed for only two reasons. Either they have broken promises that were showing promise, as they did with Iran, or they have not engaged in diplomacy sincerely, demanding that the other country make the core concession the US demands without being willing to make the core concession the other country desires.